- The Washington Times - Friday, April 8, 2005

Defeat amnesty for illegals

I am a U.S. citizen who came to this country legally. The process to gain citizenship has taken 10 years and has cost my family close to $12,000 in legal and administrative fees. However, the real disappointment in all of this is that my son, now a Marine, turned 18 before our citizenship was granted and must now start over as if he entered the country yesterday.

I dare Sen. Larry E. Craig, Idaho Republican, or any of the other supporters of amnesty, to have a visit with my son and explain to him how their legislative actions will be good for the country (“Putting illegals before the troops,” Editorial, Wednesday). Of course, we know that won’t happen as that would take courage, a character trait desperately lacking in Congress.

Perhaps all of us that entered the country legally can ask the courts for equal protection against Mr. Craig and his ilk. As a registered Republican, I intend to work against all of Arizona’s elected officials who support amnesty under any political disguise.

BILL TAIT

Scottsdale, Ariz.

Challenging Muslim views

Michael F. Scheuer (“Sirens of America’s defeat,” Op-Ed, Thursday) would have us believe that were President Bush to abandon Iraq, Afghanistan and the Arabian Peninsula, break off relations with Saudi Arabia and “other Muslim police states,” and cease supporting our ally Israel, then radical Islamists would stop hating and targeting Americans. In fact, Osama bin Laden’s own words should dispel this myth. In February 2003 he said: “…seeking to kill Americans and Jews everywhere in the world is one of the greatest duties [for Muslims], and the good deed most preferred by Allah, the Exalted.”(Source: www.memri.org)

Mr. Scheuer’s views reflect the school of thought, widespread on the left and among blame-America-firsters, that America’s policies alone have incited Muslim ire toward the United States. This viewpoint often cites as evidence bin Laden’s own pronunciations and declaration of war against the United States. Ignored entirely by Mr. Scheuer and company, however, are bin Laden’s other beliefs concerning the “infidel America,” the waging of jihad, the Islamic Caliphate, how to treat democratically elected “collaborators” and “apostates” such as Hamid Karzai (president of Afghanistan), Mahmoud Abbas (Palestinian Authority) and Iyad Allawi (interim prime minister of Iraq). And what about Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s view that democracy is “against the rule of God”? Should the United States cease to promote democratic rights among Muslims and leave them to the likes of al Qaeda?

Ironically, Mr. Scheuer belittles the public diplomacy community’s desire to explain and clarify current U.S. policies, which he acknowledges are misunderstood by many Muslims. He writes: “America’s ‘Muslim problem’ is not that Muslims do not understand our policy, but rather that they believe they understand it precisely, that it is meant to destroy their brethren and faith, seize their oil, occupy their sanctities and arm Israel to batter Palestinians. These perceptions are not true, I trust, but they are reality for tens of millions of Muslims.” I guess he would prefer to acquiesce to bin Laden’s demands, which are based on, and play to, these very same false perceptions, than to wage a political warfare campaign that challenges bin Laden and other state-sponsored propaganda.

Mr. Scheuer’s analysis of the Islamist threat is defeatist and ill-conceived.

STEVEN C. BAKER

Senior research associate

Center for Security Policy

Washington

Mothers know best

Although I agree with James Glassman (“All in the U.N. family,” Commentary, Wednesday), on the advisability of resuming the use of DDT for malaria prevention, I totally disagree with his condemnation of the United Nations’ advocacy of breast-feeding in Africa.

I wonder if he has ever been in Africa. Most of the mothers live in rural areas, where infant formula is either nonexistent or wildly expensive. My experience with Medical Mission Sisters is that the mother, or the grandmother if the mother is working, will take one spoonful of formula powder, mix it with much too much unboiled water and put it in inadequately washed bottles and nipples, and when we see the baby, it is deathly ill with kwashiorkor and dysentery.

If the small number of professional women choose to bottle feed and have the money to buy adequate amounts of formula and prepare it properly, great, but for most of the population, this is simply an exploitative repetition of the marketing effort that was finally stopped by the Nestle boycott in the 1980s.

DR. HANNA KLAUS

Executive director

Natural Family Planning Center of Washington, D.C.

Bethesda

Stay vigilant

I do not share Joel Mowbray’s complacency concerning Lawrence Franklin (“A cold case,” Thursday). Apparently Mr. Franklin has not been indicted for giving classified information to agents of Israel, but now we learn that Mr. Franklin is working again at the Pentagon — without a security clearance.

This reminds me of how Richard Perle, although caught giving classified information to the Israeli embassy, nevertheless rose from the dead, as it were, to become an important Defense Department adviser.

EUGENE G. WINDCHY

Alexandria

‘Terrorist rhetoric’

Anne Hendershott plays an old game: She labels whomever she wants a “terrorist” without defining the term, or she cites notoriously anti-Arab sources such as Daniel Pipes (“No terrorists left behind,” Op-Ed, yesterday).

She figures, perhaps correctly, that if she uses the term often enough, her readers will believe she is referring to something credible. President Bush justifies legislation to curtail civil rights by citing the threat of some unidentified “terrorists”; Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, in the name of protecting against “terrorists” — whom he construes as all Palestinians — has become the worst example of one.

It is not that terrorists do not exist; we surely know they do. They are people who attack presumably innocent civilians for ideological reasons. But the free and undefined use of the term for political advantage does not do the public a service or improve clear thinking, and it directly or indirectly does grave harm to innocent people in populations targeted by inflammatory rhetoric, such as our Muslim citizens. Perhaps we should term speech intended to cast suspicion for unspecified acts on people “terrorist rhetoric.”

MIRIAM M. REIK

New York

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